Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hello Minneapolis

Once upon a time Geoff and I wanted to live in Wisconsin, (stop me if you've heard this one before) and when a job in Minneapolis came up, we got confused. Geoff accepted the job, we packed our belongings, and over Thanksgiving weekend we drove to Minnesota from San Diego. We were literally the only vehicle traveling east, and it snowed as we unloaded the moving van. That was 1990. Our first son was born in Minneapolis, in March, and we survived the record breaking 100 year storm, and by January 1992, we were packed and moving back to San Diego. Ultimately, living in the Twin Cities was not for us, but we still have a crush on Minneapolis, and Wisconsin. We still look at house listings in the midwest, and we are still in peril and at risk of getting confused whenever we go back to visit.

On our way to see family, and vacation, in Wisconsin, we visited Minnesota... Geoff and I, with William, Alex, Bambi, Max, and Maria. And this is how the first day went...

The home we stayed in had a room dedicated to ironing, and it wasn't a corner in a basement. It was spacious, with a view, and nicely appointed with practical and decorative bits. And so, as a good vacation or adventure should... this getaway began with me doing something new, challenging, out of the ordinary. I ironed my shirt, and I took a bathroom mirror selfie. Have you guessed? I was definitely the first one up.

We'd gone directly from the airport to the house we rented, in the dark, but now, in the light of day, standing in the darling ironing room, I knew I was in serious danger of falling in love, all over again, with Minneapolis, and I hadn't even begun to look around, head outdoors. Everyone else was in varying stages of waking, and I decided to head outdoors. If Geoff didn't want me to get too attached to the Midwest, maybe he shouldn't have left me unattended.

Portrait of a woman about to fall in love with the Midwest, again.

I took pictures of bunnies, driveways, garages, flowers, porches, trees, tree canopies, tree trunks. And then, before going another block, I forced myself to think of something, anything, to get a grip: Ticks. Mosquitos. Chiggers. And snow.

I made this reminder and posted it to my Instagram story: Note to self: It snows here. Deep, freezing, street blocking, long lasting snow... keep that in mind, I counseled.

Party of 7, one bathroom... eventually, we all got cleaned up, dressed and out of the house. Now, breakfast! And exploring!

Zumbro... worth the wait.

Enter... Wild Rumpus.

This neighborhood... the bakery, the bookshop, and toy store... Oh. This is very sad. RIP, Creative Kidstuff. There used to be a co-op, now there's a craft store.

Excuse me.
Long pause.
I think if I'd known that the toy store was closing June 30, 2019, I would have seriously toyed with the idea of traveling to Minneapolis, again. It's like I was saying, there are places, a street or town, that make me feel like I am going home, make me emotional, homesick. This was the neighborhood I came to as a young mother. Getting acquainted with a new state, and city, with a newborn, and winter... my favorite indulgence was walking out of the cold and into the bakery, buying produce at the co-op, and looking forward to play and toys, to all the days and adventures ahead, with William. We would visit UU services at Lake Harriet Church, and I can still pinpoint the dream houses I wished were ours. I feel an attachment to the neighborhood and shops, to the daydreams I had, the wishes I made, and the bit of home that grew when we were there. Right. Well, this helps me give this some perspective, because I feel a bit silly crying over a closed toy store... it's the nostalgia and happy memories of time spent there, my hopes and ideals of parenting, and time with my first born. *sigh*

Now, these memories, our visit to Linden Hills, are even more (if that's possible) poignant and dear to me. I'm sentimental. I know. And I am thankful that we could share happy places with growing and grown children, with anyone, actually. There isn't a favorite place in the world that I haven't imagined bringing all of my friends to visit. This place makes me joyful, inspires me. Come on! I want you to feel joyful, too. I want to share the happiness... this is why I have lottery daydreams.

There are chickens, and ferrets, and book signings, and comfy corners, and... I could stay all day. I hope we go back.

Visit Walker Art.

Next, we headed to the Mississippi River, to cross the Stone Arch Bridge, see the lights on the water, the old flour mills, the locks, St Anthony Falls. By sheer luck, we were in town during the Pride parade, and a Diner en Blanc. The entire span of the old bridge was a banquet, a gone-viral, secret dinner, where thousands of guests pop up and dine together! It was a wonderful scene to come upon. And from our vantage point, a beautiful view of the rainbow Pride lights on the St Anthony Bridge, and reflected on the Mississippi River.

Lucky for us, Fat Lorenzos is open late... Friendly service and good eats.

Alex, Bambi, Max, and Maria... at home in Minneapolis.

(This post was back-blogged on July 30, 2019.)